Ag Radio programs for July 19 - 25, 2007
Why Was There So Much Cheat in the Wheat this Year?
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. I think there were a lot of people that got caught off guard with the amount of cheat in the wheat this year and many of them were asking me where the heck it came from. Keep in mind that when we say cheat we are actually referring to a group of three or four winter annual weedy bromes. My first response is that it came where it always came from, last year's cheat crop. But this year was different. It had a chance to get itself an edge or an advantage. Even with crop rotation, we have some cheat out there that survives one way or another, or a small amount of seed manages to make it through two years of dormancy. What was different this year was that we had the Easter weekend freeze. It hammered the wheat back to the point that it had to regenerate all sorts of new tillers. During that period, the cheat had a chance to grow up above the wheat and get a lot more sunshine than it normally does. You see, most years these earlier maturing wheats are getting a jump on the cheat grasses and provide so much shading that the cheat can't thrive. This year the tables were reversed. So what's the solution? Well, there are some herbicide options out there and if you are in a rotation where you have to go back into those cheaty fields with wheat this fall, start looking into those. Obviously, crop rotation is a far superior option. But be sure to take the time this fall to control that cheat, along in October, with herbicide or tillage. Burning the stubble isn't going to help much with the cheat problem and quite honestly, I question if plowing would either. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Come Out to the Fair!
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. July 24th thru the 26th is the annual Geary County 4-H Fair. It's still located where it has been for the past 30 years, on Spring Valley Road just south of the KJCK FM tower. In spite of all the new developments, we haven't moved and there aren't any plans to move. Anyway, that's where I'll be the entire week and I'd encourage you to come on out to the fair. I missed the county fair last year and it really gave my entire summer a strange feeling not being there. There is something special about a county fair. It used to signal the end of summer, and even though we hold the fair earlier now than we did in decades past, I think we all know that after the fair is over, it won't be long before school will be starting. In days gone by where we all spent more time at home, it was a natural thing to come to the fair and visit with friends from around the county that you didn't see very often. Now days, we're all never home so it's still a chance to gather and see friends we haven't seen for a while. I'm already spending time now and then at the fairgrounds checking to make sure everything is ready for the fair and the transformation during the week of fair never ceases to amaze me. One week there is nothing at the fair grounds, and then in a space of a few days, a small town appears, only to disappear a few days later. But in those few brief days, you get a glimpse into what a community is like and what talent and future these youth have. So do yourself a favor. Take some time off during the fair, either during the day or in the evening, come on out to the fair, admire the projects of the 4-Hers, shake the hand of some friends you haven't seen for a while and reconnect with community. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
Start Thinking about Alfalfa Planting
This is Ag Outlook 2007 on 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte, Geary County, K-State Research and Extension Ag & Natural Resources Agent. If you need to get some new alfalfa started, you need to get into the alfalfa planting mind set because that narrow window of opportunity will soon be upon us! In general, fall planting of alfalfa is more like a late summer planting. The full time frame is August 15th to September 15th, but in all honesty, I'd like to see that seed in the ground before Labor Day. The first step is to get the seed lined up. Don't skimp on quality or price - get a good named variety with disease and insect resistance. Next, get a soil test taken and into the Extension Office. Of critical interest is soil pH and phosphorus levels. Being too low on either of these is a short cut to disaster and they have to be taken care of BEFORE that seed goes in the ground. Now start working on the seed bed. If you have wheat stubble and a drill that can handle no-till, then let's just go with it. If you are going into a clean tilled seed bed, remember that it needs to be well worked down, not at all cloddy, so that we have that good seed to soil contact. I like the no-till approach because we usually save moisture and insure good seed soil contact. If you are going no-till let's get a glyphosate treatment applied to burn down the existing weeds. Those young alfalfa seedlings don't like competition. We usually say that herbicides aren't required in fall plantings, and if you do use a preplant herbicide, it does have to be incorporated with tillage. We do have a growing number of post emerge products, even for seedling alfalfa, but if you see a problem developing, we need to catch it while the weeds and grasses are still small. There are a lot of established alfalfa fields that need some dormant season treatments too. This has been Ag Outlook 2007 on the Talk of JC, 1420 KJCK, I'm Chuck Otte.
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